Ten most popular Mental Elf blogs in 2012


Greetings pop pickers!

In this pre-Xmas week, it’s time to take stock and consider the most popular blogs on the Mental Elf in 2012.

These are the movers and shakers, chosen by you (the readers) as you’ve clicked your way around the site:

  1. Here is the evidence for exercising if you are depressed (11 Jun 2012)
  2. CBT is no better than other psychosocial therapies for people with schizophrenia, according to new Cochrane review (10 May 2012)
  3. How to speak to your psychiatrist: are we ready for shared decision making in mental health? (23 Feb 2012)
  4. Fewer than one in ten people with schizophrenia show sustained improvement over 3 years (21 Dec 2011)
  5. The Geriatric Depression Scale is the best screening tool for depression in older people in acute hospital settings (19 Jan 2012)
  6. ‘Exercise doesn’t help with depression’ – have the headline writers got it wrong again? (7 Jun 2012)
  7. Are the specific techniques used by different psychotherapists likely to help people with depression? (28 May 2012)
  8. Suicide and self-harm: series of articles in The Lancet (25 Jun 2012)
  9. Rethinking physical activity for depression: what’s cost effective? (2 Apr 2012)
  10. New suicide prevention toolkits for community, emergency and general practice staff (8 Dec 2011)

My personal favourites are probably number 6 and number 1. It was great to be involved in the re-telling of the exercise and depression story back in June, to set the record straight and ensure that headline writers thought twice about regurgitating what they read in inaccurate press releases.

I’ve written nearly 200 blogs this year.  The most blogged about mental health conditions have been depression, schizophrenia, substance misuse, dementia and anxiety disorders. The most blogged about treatments are antidepressants, psychotherapies, antipsychotics, CBT and exercise.

People from 147 countries have visited the Mental Elf this year. On average people spend just over 2 minutes on the site and look at 3 pages each time they visit.

It’s great to see my number of Twitter followers quadruple to over 4,500 in the last 12 months. I have lots of exciting social media plans for next year, including running Twitter journal clubs to help connect up researchers, health and social care professionals, patients, carers and others.

You will soon be able to subscribe to the Mental Elf website and get access to special members features. Our vision for the site is to provide you with all of the information and tools you need to keep up to date with the latest mental health research and track your learning as you go.

Not ‘Arf!

What do you think?

Are there topics that you would like to see covered more? What do you think works well and what really gets your goat? Please share your thoughts below so that we can make the site better in 2013.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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